I am certain I don’t need to explain the title of this blog; most of you can identify with the first three words and how they relate to your dental care. I had one How can I manage my fear of the dentist?patient tell me “I would rather have another child than have you give me the shot.” Other patients are more subtle, and still some are brought to tears. It’s unfortunate that routine dental visits can cause this much stress for individuals. It also leads us to the purpose of this blog: what can we do about it?

First, you should do your best to find a dentist you trust; a dentist that is an advocate for your oral health, and strives to create a positive experience every time you arrive at the office.

Second, be open and honest about what you are feeling and any apprehension you have about your appointment. When I notice apprehensive patients, the first thing I do is reassure them that dental fear is common, and then we discuss how we can best manage their specific concern. The most common cause of dental anxiety typically involves a past appointment where adequate pain control was not achieved. I reassure them that we will make sure the tooth or teeth are adequately numb before we will not continue with the procedure.

Lastly, we use distracters; nitrous oxide, music, blankets and even an in-office therapy dog! Over the last few years I have used a product that adds vibration to the delivery of anesthetic. It is called a dental vibe. The added vibration camouflages the notorious pinch felt by patients and has been a priceless addition to our practice.

Let’s briefly review the 3 ways to make your dental visits more pleasant:

  1. Find a dentist you trust.
  2. Be open about your concerns.
  3. Ask for the little things that will make you more comfortable.

Our goal is to provide you with exceptional care and an experience that leaves you smiling. Come visit us! We would love to be your trusted home for dental care.

Brandon Helgeson DDS